Hotel towels shaped like swans into a heart
Credit: Getty Images

Flowers wilt and chocolates are so cliché, so this year, opt for a Valentine’s Day getaway instead of the usual February 14 gifts. Not only do couples who travel together report having a deeper connection, they have better sex lives, according to one study.

If you think it's too late to plan a romantic getaway for two, the exact opposite might actually be true.

“The absolute best rates are often on the same-day,” Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight, told Travel + Leisure. “Hotel rooms work the opposite of flights and get less expensive the closer you book to check-in date.”

Within the last week of booking, prices could drop up to 20 percent, Shank says.

Because Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week this year, travelers looking to save money should aim to travel the weekend before. The weekend after is also President’s Day weekend, which will cause hotel rates to rise.

This year, Chicago will have some of the cheapest hotel rooms available around Valentine’s Day (February 9 through 18), according to data from HotelTonight. The current average nightly rate is $94 per night. Those looking for somewhere warmer (without spending much more money) can find hotels for $98 in Las Vegas or Washington, D.C. for $99. Hotel guests in Los Angeles will pay, on average, $210 per night and those in Miami could pay up to $261.

On the other hand, if you're looking to make restaurant reservations, you shouldn't wait: Most Valentine's Day reservations last year were made 11 days ahead of time, according to OpenTable. To stay ahead of the pack, book your romantic dinner before this Saturday.

Take a look at Travel + Leisure’s guide to romantic getaways and life-changing trips for couples to kickstart your travel planning.